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Mass protests set vs oil price, tuition hikes

Youth groups are calling on Filipino youth and people to rise up and launch a series of nationwide mass protests against the incessant oil price hikes, tuition hikes and budget cuts in social services in the coming weeks. The youth can no longer stand the abuse and thievery being done by the foreign oil cartel in connivance with the Aquino government.

Protests will kick-off on Tuesday, January 24 with various protests in different campuses and communities. Various groups will march to Mendiola.

Earlier, Kilusang Mayo Uno has also called for nationwide protests in the coming weeks to call on Aquino to “respond to the people’s demand for an immediate relief from the skyrocketting prices of petroleum products.”

The people must expose and effectively counter Aquino’s attempts to use the impeachment trial frenzy to cover up its own crimes against the people: failing to regulate oil price hikes and paving the way for more price hikes this year.

The government is posturing as if it is against ‘abuse’ and ‘corruption’ of his political opponents, but we must ask Aquino: what about the ‘abuse’ and ‘corruption’ of the big oil cartel?

Petroleum products have risen four times in less than 20 days. Since January, the three biggest oil companies have increased the price of diesel by P2.70 per liter, regular gasoline by P2.60 per liter, unleaded gasoline by P2.20 per liter and kerosene by P2.50 per liter.

According to KMU, the Big 3 is engaged in oil overpricing. The price per liter of retail gasoline is padded by as much as P9.00 per liter.

The people must follow the example of and emulate the peoples’ protests done in Nigeria, which forced the government to rollback oil prices after weeks of broad and widespread mass demonstrations.

Government inaction amidst obvious price manipulation shows that the Aquino government is clearly in cahoots with the oil cartel. It should be denounced for its refusal to repeal the oil deregulation law and in continuing to impose Value Added Tax on oil.

Meanwhile, tuition hikes are also impending as result of government slashing of funds of state universities last year. Also, despite repeated protests, government’s guidelines on tuition increases remain to allow obscene tuition rates and redundant fees. The deadline for consultations on tuition increases is set on February.

Last year, Malacanang promised to release a new tuition policy addressing bogus fees and unabated tuition hikes. However, just like everything else the government has promised, it has been forgotten and has not been fulfilled. As a result, another round of tuition increases is expected. Around 400 schools to increase tuition by as much as 15%.

Various groups are preparing for campus walk-outs and massive protests against Aquino’s anti-people policies. The youth can no longer stand idly by as more people go hungry and more Filipinos sink into deeper poverty.

The nationwide campus strikes against budget cuts in state universities and the “campout” / “Occupy Mendiola” protests last year is an indication of how big and effective these protests can get.

Certainly, bigger and bolder protests are set to confront Aquino this year. More people are seeing through his government’s lies and rhetorics. The anti-people policies of the Aquino government is forcing them to take the path of militant action.


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